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Thursday, September 29, 2016

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Disc reviews

By Jeff Simon » Saturday, September 24, 2016

POP MUSIC Randy Newman, “The Randy Newman Songbook, Volume Three” (Nonesuch). In a perfect world, the Pultizer Prize for Music would have decided 30 years ago to forsake, as hopelessly out of date, the idea that it should be won by contemporary classical composers only. Winners of the prize for music, then, would... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Saturday, September 24, 2016

JAZZ Billy Hart & The WDR Big Band, “The Broader Picture” (Enja, out next week) The key name here is in small type on the front of the insert: “Arranged and conducted by Christopher Schweizer.” He is “Swiss-born, Hamburg-based” and was a student of drummer Billy Hart’s back in New York in 1992.... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Thursday, September 22, 2016

RockZZ Top, “Live: Greatest Hits from Around the World” (Suretone). Can’t bury the lede here: this is the great band’s first full-length live album in 46 years. And, furthermore, on the two cuts recorded in concert in London – “Rough Boy” and “Sixteen Tons” (on disc for the first time) – the guest star... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Saturday, September 17, 2016

JAZZ Steve Gadd Band, Way Back Home: Live from Rochester, N.Y. (BFM Jazz, disc plus two DVDs) Ever since jazz and rock decided to keep intimate company and go electric together (in other words, early Ramsey Lewis trio stuff doesn’t really count), Rochester-bred drummer Steve Gadd has been as busy as the proverbial... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Saturday, September 17, 2016

JAZZ Denny Zeitlin, Early Wayne: Solo Piano performances of Early Wayne Shorter Compositions (Sunnyside) Very little in this world is easier for deep-dish jazz fans than selling them on a solo piano disc of Denny Zeitlin playing early compositions by Wayne Shorter, the great jazz composer who was the co-leader of... Read More

Thursday, September 15, 2016

JazzJohn Scofield, “Country for Old Men” (Impulse). Certainly one of the wittiest jazz album titles of the year. Its full provenance is this: obviously an allusion to the Coen Brothers’ Oscar-winning film “No Country for Old Men,” taken from Cormac McCarthy’s novel of the same name which got its title from W.... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Thursday, September 15, 2016

CLASSICAL Alexandra Vrebalov, “The Sea Ranch Songs” performed by the Kronos Quartet (Canteloupe, disc plus DVD) It’s the DVD by Andrew Lyndon that is of more interest here, really, than the music. The Kronos is one of the world’s greatest chamber ensembles. I’ve always thought that if there were a Nobel... Read More

Sunday, September 11, 2016

JAZZDave Stryker, “Eight Track II” (Strikezone). Back in 2014, Dave Stryker, tongue firmly in cheek, reported a “groovy” idea – ‘70’s pop favorites played by his blue collar jazz trio with a guest vibraphonist. It was nothing if not popular with music buyers and what’s left of jazz radio. Since one good... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Saturday, September 10, 2016

CLASSICAL Michael Daugherty, “Tales of Hemingway,” “American Gothic” and “Once Upon a Castle” with cellist Zuill Bailey, organist Paul Jacobs and the Nashville Symphony conducted by Giancarlo Guerrero (Naxos). Here are some cultural marriages not often seen in America – and certainly not in this era... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Friday, September 9, 2016

CLASSICAL Stravinsky, “The Soldier’s Tale– Suite,” Octet and “Les Noces” performed by violinist Tianawa Yang, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and Virginia Arts Chamber Ensemble conducted by JoAnn Falletta (Naxos) Good for Maestra Falletta. The music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic... Read More

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